Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest

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For Portugal's most recent participation, see Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.
Member station RTP
National selection events Festival da Canção
Appearances 47 (40 finals)
First appearance 1964
Best result 6th: 1996
Worst result Last: 1964, 1974, 1997
Nul points: 1964, 1997
External links
RTP page
Portugal's page at Eurovision.tv

Portugal has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 47 times since its debut in the 1964 contest. Since then, they have missed only four contests.

Portugal's debut entry was António Calvário with "Oração", however it was not a successful debut for the country, with Calvário coming last in the contest. Since then Portugal has come last on two further occasions, in 1974, when Paulo de Carvalho sang "E depois do adeus", and in 1997 when Célia Lawson performed "Antes do adeus". Despite its last-place finish in the contest, "E depois do adeus" has since gained notability for being one of the two signals to begin the Carnation Revolution against the Estado Novo regime in the country.

Portugal has never won the contest, and holds the record for most appearances in the contest without a win. Their best finish was at the 1996 contest, when Lúcia Moniz came sixth with the song "O meu coração não tem cor". As such, Portugal has never finished in the top five of any contest.

Since semi-finals were introduced into the contest in 2004, Portugal has failed to reach the final seven times, including from 2004 to 2007. The country did reach the final from 2008 to 2010. In 2008, Vânia Fernandes finished 13th with the song "Senhora do mar (Negras águas)", Portugal's best finish since 1998. In 2009, Flor-de-Lis finished 15th with "Todas as ruas do amor" and in 2010, Filipa Azevedo finished 18th. As of 2014, 2010 remains the last time Portugal participated in the Eurovision final, having failed to qualify from the semi-finals three more times in 2011, 2012 and 2014. In 2013, Portugal did not compete.

The contest is broadcast in Portugal by Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP).


Portugal has been absent from four contests since their first participation. The country's first absence was in 1970 where Portugal, along with four other countries, boycotted the contest due to the result of the previous year, when four countries were announced the winner.[1]

Portugal missed the 2000 contest due to their poor average results over the past five years. Despite being eligible to enter the 2002 contest, RTP declined to enter, and was replaced by eventual winner Latvia.[2]

The fourth, and so far last absence was in 2013, when Portugal didn't participate for financial reasons.[3]

Festival da Canção[edit]

Main article: Festival da Canção

Festival da Canção (sometimes referred to as "Festival RTP da Canção") is the Portuguese national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, organized by RTP, and is normally held in February/March of the year of the contest. It is one of the longest-running Eurovision selection methods. Previously a number of regional juries selected the winner, however recently the winner has been selected through televoting. In 2009 and 2010, a 50-50 system between district juries and televote (like in the ESC) has been used.

Despite Portugal being absent from the contest on three occasions, the Festival da Canção has mostly gone on regardlessly. In 1970, when Portugal boycotted the contest, Festival da Canção 1970 went on ahead, the same occurring in 2000. The only times that Festival da Canção was not held were between 2002 and 2005, and in 2013.


Table key
  Second place
  Third place
  Last place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
1964 António Calvário Portuguese "Oração" 13 0 No semi-finals
1965 Simone de Oliveira Portuguese "Sol de inverno" 13 1
1966 Madalena Iglésias Portuguese "Ele e ela" 13 6
1967 Eduardo Nascimento Portuguese "O vento mudou" 12 3
1968 Carlos Mendes Portuguese "Verão" 11 5
1969 Simone de Oliveira Portuguese "Desfolhada portuguesa" 15 4
1970 Did not participate
1971 Tonicha Portuguese "Menina do alto da serra" 9 83
1972 Carlos Mendes Portuguese "A festa da vida" 7 90
1973 Fernando Tordo Portuguese "Tourada" 10 80
1974 Paulo de Carvalho Portuguese "E depois do adeus" 14 3
1975 Duarte Mendes Portuguese "Madrugada" 16 16
1976 Carlos do Carmo Portuguese "Uma flor de verde pinho" 12 24
1977 Os Amigos Portuguese "Portugal no coração" 14 18
1978 Gemini Portuguese "Dai li dou" 17 5
1979 Manuela Bravo Portuguese "Sobe, sobe, balão sobe" 9 64
1980 José Cid Portuguese "Um grande, grande amor" 7 71
1981 Carlos Paião Portuguese "Playback" 18 9
1982 Doce Portuguese "Bem bom" 13 32
1983 Armando Gama Portuguese "Esta balada que te dou" 13 33
1984 Maria Guinot Portuguese "Silêncio e tanta gente" 11 38
1985 Adelaide Ferreira Portuguese "Penso em ti, eu sei" 18 9
1986 Dora Portuguese "Não sejas mau para mim" 14 28
1987 Nevada Portuguese "Neste barco à vela" 18 15
1988 Dora Portuguese "Voltarei" 18 5
1989 Da Vinci Portuguese "Conquistador" 16 39
1990 Nucha Portuguese "Há sempre alguém" 20 9
1991 Dulce Pontes Portuguese "Lusitana paixão" 8 62
1992 Dina Portuguese "Amor d'água fresca" 17 26
1993 Anabela Portuguese "A cidade (até ser dia)" 10 60 Kvalifikacija za Millstreet
1994 Sara Tavares Portuguese "Chamar a música" 8 73 No semi-finals
1995 Tó Cruz Portuguese "Baunilha e chocolate" 21 5
1996 Lúcia Moniz Portuguese "O meu coração não tem cor" 6 92 18 32
1997 Célia Lawson Portuguese "Antes do adeus" 24 0 No semi-finals
1998 Alma Lusa Portuguese "Se eu te pudesse abraçar" 12 36
1999 Rui Bandeira Portuguese "Como tudo começou" 21 12
2000 Did not participate
2001 MTM Portuguese "Só sei ser feliz assim" 17 18
2002 Did not participate
2003 Rita Guerra Portuguese, English "Deixa-me sonhar (só mais uma vez)" 22 13
2004 Sofia Vitória Portuguese "Foi magia" Failed to qualify 15 38
2005 2B Portuguese, English "Amar" 17 51
2006 Nonstop Portuguese, English "Coisas de nada (Gonna Make You Dance)" 19 26
2007 Sabrina Portuguese, English, French, Spanish "Dança comigo" 11 88
2008 Vânia Fernandes Portuguese "Senhora do mar (Negras águas)" 13 69 2 120
2009 Flor-de-Lis Portuguese "Todas as ruas do amor" 15 57 8 70
2010 Filipa Azevedo Portuguese "Há dias assim" 18 43 4 89
2011 Homens da Luta Portuguese "A luta é alegria" Failed to qualify 18 22
2012 Filipa Sousa Portuguese "Vida minha" 13 39
2013 Did not participate
2014 Suzy Portuguese "Quero ser tua" Failed to qualify 11 39
2015 Leonor Andrade Portuguese "Há um mar que nos separa"

NOTE: If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. In addition from 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. If, for example, Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries.

Voting history[edit]

As of 2014, Portugal's voting history is as follows:

Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

Further information: Marcel Bezençon Awards

Press Award

Year Song Performer Final Result Points Host city
2008 "Senhora do mar (Negras águas)" Vânia Fernandes 13th 69 Belgrade

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

Year(s) Commentator Spokesperson
1964 Gomes Ferreira Maria Manuela Furtado
1966 Henrique Mendes
1968 Fialho Gouveia
1969 Henrique Mendes
1970 Portugal did not participate
1971 No Spokesperson
1973 Artur Agostinho
1974 Henrique Mendes
1975 Júlio Isidro Ana Zanatti
1976 Unknown
1978 Eládio Clímaco
1979 Fialho Gouveia João Abel da Fonseca
1980 Isabel Wolmar Teresa Cruz
1981 Unknown Margarida Mercês de Mello
1982 Fialho Gouveia
1983 Eládio Clímaco João Abel Fonseca
1984 Fialho Gouveia Carlos Ribeiro
1985 Eládio Clímaco Maria Margarida Gaspar
1986 Fialho Gouveia Margarida Mercês de Mello
1987 Maria Margarida Gaspar Ana Zanatti
1988 Margarida Mercês de Mello Maria Margarida Gaspar
1989 Ana Zanatti Margarida Mercês de Mello
1990 Ana do Carmo João Abel Fonseca
1991 Maria Margarida Gaspar
1992 Eládio Clímaco Ana Zanatti
1993 Isabel Bahia Margarida Mercês de Mello
1994 Eládio Clímaco Isabel Bahia
1995 Ana do Carmo Serenella Andrade
1996 Maria Margarida Gaspar Cristina Rocha
1997 Carlos Ribeiro
1998 Rui Unas Lúcia Moniz
1999 Manuel Luís Goucha
2000 Eládio Clímaco Portugal did not participate
2001 Margarida Mercês de Mello
2002 Portugal did not participate
2003 Margarida Mercês de Mello Helena Ramos
2004 Eládio Clímaco Isabel Angelino
2006 Cristina Alves
2007 Jorge Gabriel Francisco Mendes
2008 Isabel Angelino Teresa Villa-Lobos
2009 Hélder Reis Helena Coelho
2010 Sérgio Mateus Ana Galvão
2011 Sílvia Alberto Joana Teles
2012 Pedro Granger
2013 Sílvia Alberto Portugal did not participate
2014 Joana Teles
2015 Hélder Reis TBA


In the late 1990s the English actor and comedian Steve Coogan created the character "Tony Ferrino" for his television comedy series. "Tony Ferrino" is supposedly a Portuguese singer and winner of the Eurovision Song Contest; he is a stereotype based on singers and entertainers often seen on European television programmes in the 1970s and 1980s. The BBC produced a one-off programme The Tony Ferrino Phenomenon in 1997.



  1. ^ O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007 ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
  2. ^ Bakker, Sietse (2002-11-29). "EBU confirmed: Portugal resigns, Latvia is in". ESCToday. Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  3. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (22 November 2012). "Portugal will not participate in Eurovision 2013". ESCToday. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 

External links[edit]